social media protocol for business_billboard

Social Media Protocol for the Professional

We see people misbehaving on social media all the time. This can have consequences for associated business social media accounts that may range from small waves to downright devastating. Below is a list of items to consider when posting on your personal social media account as a professional.

  • Even if you aren’t managing the business’s social media account, you are still connected, and as a result, you represent that business on social media and wherever you go.
  • In effect, your behavior on your personal social media account is indirectly (and, in some cases, directly) associated with the business itself, whether or not the content of your posts refers to the business in any way.
  • Knowing this, your conduct on social media may be scrutinized, particularly as an associate of the business, so any negative, lewd, ignorant, blasphemous, or otherwise irresponsible behavior can reflect poorly on the business, in turn cultivating a negative opinion of it.
  • Think before you post – if your post is even remotely controversial, ask yourself if it’s worth blasting out to the public or if it’s something better discussed privately with close friends or family.

Example: An employee of a mid-sized law firm is annoyed with the company’s slow adoption of technology. He thinks of the partners in the firm as “dinosaurs” who are stuck in an age of paper and pen. One day, he decides to post a meme on Facebook that features photos of seven of the attorneys alongside surprisingly similar-looking dinosaurs with the caption, “A dinosaur a day keeps the technology away.” While his friends and some of his family find this extremely funny, one of the firm’s largest and longest-standing clients happens to see the post and is offended, as he has been working with the firm for as long as it’s been around and thus is, by proxy, a “dinosaur” as well. He contacts his attorney at the firm to complain.

This is only the beginning of this incident. Depending on how leadership handles the complaint, they may lose the client, fire the employee, or they may be able to apologize and set the record right gracefully. Either way, their staff most likely needs some training from a marketing firm like Pinstripe. We do public relations and communications training on a regular basis.